Wednesday, November 01, 2023


A decision to close Material Resources—a Church of the Brethren program that collects, processes, warehouses, and ships material relief aid—and a statement on “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” as well as a budget for 2024 topped the agenda of the Mission and Ministry Board’s fall 2023 meetings Oct. 20-22 at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The board heard that a financial “pinch point” is coming soon, and Woolf noted that this year’s was a difficult budgeting process as staff needed to make additional reductions. The Executive Committee of the board will work to address the “pinch point” by processing how to prioritize denominational ministries.

On Oct. 28, Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) deployed a team of five Critical Response Childcare volunteers to Lewiston, Maine, in partnership with the Red Cross. This deployment was made in response to the mass shootings at two locations in Lewiston in which 18 people were killed and 13 others were injured. The Critical Response Childcare team arrived with a calm presence for children and families affected by this disaster, and a CDS Kit of Comfort—a suitcase with toys and activities chosen specially for children to play with to help their emotional recovery after such a traumatic event.

The ecumenical organization Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), of which the Church of the Brethren is a member denomination, has been offering a variety of resources for acting and praying for peace in Israel and Palestine, and for gaining a better understanding of the conflict there. A weekly briefing takes place online every Thursday from 9 to 9:30 a.m. Central Time, with a live report from CMEP staff and other experts. Register at Learn more at

The Council of District Executives held its fall meeting in a virtual format on Oct. 25. Business included a review of finances, welcoming new members to the group, saying farewell to a few who are finishing their service, going over details for the upcoming ordination renewal cycle in 2024-2025, hearing updates on queries and other district conference business, and receiving a report on some items from the recent Mission and Ministry Board meeting. CODE will next convene for its winter meetings in mid-January.

The Church of the Brethren FaithX program is offering a variety of opportunities in 2024: Older adults age 55-plus are invited to join a new short-term service opportunity at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla., Feb. 25-March 1. Registration is now open at Later in the year, a full slate of junior high, senior high, and adult trips will be offered, plus the “We Are Able” trip for young adults with intellectual disabilities. An adult international trip for those 18 and older will travel to Ecuador to serve at Fundacion Brethren y Unida (FBU) June 1-10, and an adult domestic trip will occur in partnership with Brethren Disaster Ministries July 28-Aug. 3. Registration will open online on Jan. 10.

The 2024 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, scheduled for Jan. 18-25, will use worship resources prepared by Christians in Burkina Faso on the theme, “You shall love the Lord your God … and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). Find resources at

Believing and Belonging,” an accessible Anabaptist membership curriculum from Anabaptist Disabilities Network, is now available at The curriculum is designed to help churches welcome people with disabilities into full fellowship in the body of Christ, according to a release from ADN.